Information on living in Cocoa Beach

By Susan Haynes
January 23, 2006
Information on living in Cocoa Beach
Gary Bogdon

Setting: On a barrier island between the Atlantic Ocean andBanana River, Cocoa Beach lies 152 miles south of Jacksonville and176 miles north of Miami Beach. Walt Disney World is 48 miles west.Two-lane Highway A1A leads north to Cape Canaveral and to beachcommunities on the island's southern tip. Causeways link to MerrittIsland, Cocoa, and Melbourne.

Attractions: The surrounding waterscapes offer greatfishing, boating, maritime sports, and scenic vistas. Temperaturesstay mild year-round. Wide-ranging regional job possibilitiesexist, thanks to savvy economic development. MelbourneInternational Airport is just five miles away. Florida imposes nostate income tax.

Drawbacks: Hurricanes and damaging tropical storms are factsof life. Shopping is just OK. Rising population keeps developmentissues on the front burner. Day-trippers and weekend visitors canbe rowdy litterbugs. High-traffic A1A runs through residentialareas.

Housing Options: Leasing or buying choices vary fromfixer-upper beach cottages to luxurious new and renovatedproperties. Waterfront homes face the Atlantic to the east or theBanana River and numerous coves to the west. On this narrow barrierisland, no location is far from water.

What It Costs: It's possible to lease a two-bedroom,two-bath oceanfront condo for $1,100 a month. To buy property,$334,000 can get you a three-bedroom, two-bath townhome with wateraccess. You can find an updated, three-bedroom river-view cottagefor $699,900. Modern waterfront condos can fetch $495,000 for twobedrooms, two baths, and a split floor plan, and as much as$699,900 for an ocean-view corner unit.

Your Next-door Neighbors: The founder of USA Today. The person who does Kennedy Space Center launchcountdowns. An artist who carves tiki totem poles. A Cape CanaveralHospital anesthesiologist. A designer for Walt Disney Worldproductions. A NASA engineer. A Cocoa Beach Pier bartender.

How You'd Spend Your Free Time: Walking miles of beach.Kayaking among manatees or ogling birds at Cape Canaveral NationalSeashore. Browsing Cocoa Village shops. Driving to nearbyTitusville for Dixie Crossroads' rock shrimp.

(published March 2006)